Latest News

University placed on lockdown after black student spotted with glue gun he used for art project

By Mason White 4:43 PM May 4, 2017
Glue gun (illustration)
Glue gun (illustration)
By: Emily Lewis

(Scroll down for video) A university was placed on lockdown after a student mistook a glue gun used for an art project for a real weapon, according to police in New York.

President Brian W. Casey of the Colgate University in Hamilton, said that the incident occurred on Monday around 8:00 p.m.

A Colgate student called Colgate Campus Safety reporting that they had seen a black man entering the Coop, carrying what appeared to be a gun.

A few minutes later, Campus Safety sent out the first of two campus announcements, the first identifying an “Emergency Situation” and the second indicating, in a profound error, that there was an active shooter on the campus.

After the initial report, Campus Safety contacted law enforcement, which proceeded to engage in steps associated with reports of a person with a gun in a public setting.

Only after it was determined that the person in the Coop was a Colgate student, who had a glue gun needed for an art project, was Campus Safety able to end the campus lockdown.

Casey said that officials are in contact with the student who had the glue gun and with the student who made the initial report.

The president of the university believes that race played a major role in the initial report and response.

“It is important that we understand the role that implicit racial bias had in the initial reporting and responses to the events. I want to make sure we speak with those who made and received the initial report to understand the role this played.

“More egregiously, perhaps, was the effect profiling had on the response of safety officers and other university offices to these events. In addition, communication and enforcement steps were taken that, I believe, confused and harmed this campus and our students.

“As a first step, I have asked Campus Safety Director Bill Ferguson, who was leading university security efforts, to take an administrative leave from his position effective immediately while we conduct a review of the events of last night.

“This has been a difficult, painful several hours on this campus. My obligation is, first, to demand a full accounting of what happened. My next obligation is to take steps to ensure the safety of all Colgate students, faculty and staff,” Casey said in a statement.